Don’t read this if you haven’t read Part 1.
I was going to see my hero that evening.
First I got involved decorating the room, after some general lifting and putting down, actually I played the girl card and some volunteer workers from the local prison scheme did it for me, I was supposed to decorate the tree; Christmas In July. I had brought the decorations from home, not all of them of course just a couple of boxes worth, enough to completely cover a tree twice as big. But I hadn’t decorated a tree in years; the kids decorate the tree, Gavin & I try to prevent fights to the death. I put some decorations on the tree until I was exhausted, by then Mum had returned to pick me up, so I escaped.
But I was determined to pull my weight and help at the Literary Dinner so I arrived early armed with Icecream Christmas Pudding; made by Mum & Tabby not me, and tried to help. Setting up an event is one of those occasions where these secret neurotypical communications are at their most unfathomable. I was in the way, the others moved smoothly around each other, I have no idea how and I managed to be in the way no matter where I went. I had to ask for each job, so I finally gave up. Feeling guilty for not helping while being distracted is easier to cope with than feeling guilty for being useless.
The only thing left was to talk to humans. A human I had met once before spoke to me, the conversation seemed to be going okay until she wanted my card. My card was in my handbag in another room, where I had been told to put it. I waited until they went to get a drink & I fetched my bag. Then I stood precisely where I had been, they were visible but did not return to talk to me. What was happening? What should I do? Was our conversation over? Had I done something wrong? Did she still want my card?
Fortunately a nice lady saw me looking lost and asked me to join her. Then a person I had met many times before talked to me and we found out we were sharing a table. The husbands of two women I knew were there and one lady said it was a pity I hadn’t brought Gavin. I pointed out that he would be twitching on the floor because of the crowd and that it was not as entertaining as it sounded. I was starting to be okay. Except the husbands were so nice. I have no idea the precise relationship I have with their wives; who I adore, what level of familiarity are you allowed to show in this situation? I am fairly sure no matter how much you think you might have in common you have to act normal, sane, I don’t know. So I might never meet these two fascinating guys again and yet I spent the entire night trying not to monopolize the conversation and trying to not make a fool of myself; I believe I had a limited success. And I told them about the autism to cover the unconcealed odd.
I was not successful at my main task, I went and talked to Mr Battersby and his wife. Even worse I mentioned autism and cavalier spaniels. The details are hazy but clearly I was out of control.
The worst was yet to come:
See Part 3.